Genetic Variants of HNF4A, WFS1, DUSP9, FTO, and ZFAND6 Genes Are Associated with Prediabetes Susceptibility and Inflammatory Markers in the Saudi Arabian Population

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Prediabetes is a reversible, intermediate stage of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Lifestyle changes that include healthy diet and exercise can substantially reduce progression to T2DM. The present study explored the association of 37 T2DM- and obesity-linked single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with prediabetes risk in a homogenous Saudi Arabian population. A total of 1129 Saudi adults [332 with prediabetes (29%) and 797 normoglycemic controls] were randomly selected and genotyped using the KASPar SNP genotyping method. Anthropometric and various serological parameters were measured following standard procedures. Heterozygous GA of HNF4A-rs4812829 (0.64; 95% CI 0.47-0.86; p < 0.01), heterozygous TC of WFS1-rs1801214 (0.60; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44-0.80; p < 0.01), heterozygous GA of DUSP9-rs5945326 (0.60; 95% CI 0.39-0.92; p = 0.01), heterozygous GA of ZFAND6-rs11634397 (0.75; 95% CI 0.56-1.01; p = 0.05), and homozygous AA of FTO-rs11642841 (1.50; 95% CI 0.8-1.45; p = 0.03) were significantly associated with prediabetes, independent of age and body mass index (BMI). Additionally, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in rs11634397 (AA) with a median of 5389.0 (2767.4-7412.8) were significantly higher than in the heterozygous GA genotype with a median of 1736.3 (1024.4-4452.0) (p < 0.01). In conclusion, only five of the 37 genetic variants previously linked to T2DM and obesity in the Saudi Arabian population [HNF4A-rs4812829, WFS1-rs1801214, DUSP9-rs5945326, ZFAND6-rs11634397, FTO-rs11642841] were associated with prediabetes susceptibility. Prospective studies are needed to confirm the potential clinical value of the studied genetic variants of interest.